Media continue to paint President Trump as ignorant about COVID-19 – preoccupied with getting America back to work. Truth is the President is smart – and right to keep eyes on that goal. Reopening is important, will take caution, but Americans are ready to work. Have confidence – we will get there.
From the outset, the President relied on medical professionals to flatten the curve – keeping hospitals open. It worked. He relied on medical experts, not political actors, for diagnostic assessments to mitigate, treat, and get beyond the acute phase. We are there, vaccine research coming.
Trump leveraged public and private expertise. Buffeted by critics, he stayed close to medicine, pushed best practices, sought to balance prevention with reopening, optimism with realism, hope with caution.
Smart again, the President made clear – despite intense pressure from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, House and Senate Democrats, and media – that he would not violate the Constitution’s 10th Amendment. That is important and shows wisdom.
Trump refused to usurp authorities belonging to States and citizens. That allowed tailored solutions, accelerating regional and state planning. As a matter of law, that was vital. Says the Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Trump knew that, trusted governors, and us.
By contrast, Joe Biden last week said he could have done better. He would have “mandated” all Americans wear masks – presumably face fines for not doing so. He would have federalized everything. That tells you all you need to know about how a “President Biden” would behave on everything from free speech and religion to assembly and the Second Amendment. He would usurp, and mandate.
Biden said, “Trump thinks if he just ignores COVID-19, it will go away.” That is mighty rich. Trump has taken hundreds of actions – getting and giving briefings, establishing task forces, freeing private sector manufacturing for ventilators and protective equipment, authorizing travel restrictions, leading four pieces of major legislation, issuing executive orders, including one late June.
In short, Trump respects the Constitution – and doing so may hasten a tailored end to COVID’s run. The Founders knew America’s magic was in the states and people, not the federal government.
Finally, the President pushes reopening. The media says it is politics. Not really. Trump sees the need to balance COVID deaths with lockdown effects. Leading medical, social service, and public health experts agree. We are approaching a tipping point – now or soon – in which deaths, plus physical and mental health effects from lockdown outweigh marginal COVID prevention returns.
Getting people back to work – with necessary precautions – may save tens of thousands of lives, otherwise impaired or lost to indefinite lockdown. Medicine knows it, so does Trump. Reopening is a balancing act but offers real positives for our public health.
Perhaps the key is understanding average Americans. Trump does, the media does not. Americans need to get back to work – we are a working nation, not a stimulus nation. The media does not get it. Most Americans cannot do remote “feeds” to a “studio.” They do not live without working. The media is removed from this – from real America. Mistakenly, they think Trump’s emphasis is all politics.
What the media fails to see – and President sees clearly – is that the American economy turns on building, making, testing, driving, planting, harvesting, cooking, cleaning, serving, repairing, upgrading, and physically doing things. For all this to happen again, human interactions must occur.
This kind of engagement is what makes people go – helping others in person, being productive, interacting for mutual betterment. Put differently, most of the economy is construction, manufacturing, retail, transportation, education, health care, hospitality, restaurants, recreation, agriculture, forestry, fishing, 15 percent manual gigs – not much media. Only 13 percent is professional services.
This is what Trump gets. Most Americans of a certain age grew up learning skills, along with reading and writing. That is their world. While the media lives in a bubble, real America must physically work to put food on the table. They need that to “keep body and soul together.”
Let me illustrate, offering examples cut from heartland cloth. Growing up, we wanted to work. We learned skills and felt productive when we did. Before computers, most measured self-worth by how hard they worked, what they got done, what they knew how to do. The last thing they wanted was a government hand-out. What they wanted was more skills, which made them more valuable.
At a young age, we learned how to change tires jump start cars, do plumbing, sink traps to snaking drains. We learned to be handy with vice grips, pliers, wrenches, rachets, hammers, awls, pliers, plane, clamps, hand auger, and screwdrivers. Most of America did.
We learned to get dirty and not care. We dug postholes, built fences, worked in tight crawl spaces, figured out rocker-arm covers and distributor caps. We replaced windows, studded walls, hammered sheetrock, shingled roofs, changed oil and figured out shovels, rakes, and saws – hand, table, and chain.
Later, we learned how to mix oil and gas, mow lawns, paint houses, drive a stick shift seed, fertilize, weed, and harvest in season. We learned how to bus dishes, wait tables, get inventive with jobs, and make a living – as we got an education.
So, what Trump understands – and what gives urgency to his reopening bid – is this: Americans love to work, and that is why we need to be back at work. We use our hands, as well as our heads. The American economy runs on work, interaction, and handshakes, not whining, indignation, and hand-outs. We are an industrious economy, not an entitlement economy. We are capitalists, not socialists.
Trump knows the US economy runs on work. The media is oblivious. Most reporters cannot change the oil in their car, clear a sink trap, replace a water heater or oil filter. They cannot clean plugs, or use a chain saw. This is not their world. That is one reason they do not appreciate Trump’s urgency.
So, when reports issue about another COVID count, stay observant. Numbers matter, but the President’s resolve is to follow medicine, constitutional law, and instincts for reopening fast, not slower.
Caution is necessary, and we must all be smart. But Americans are dying to get back to work, back to normal and back to basics. Have confidence – we will get there. The media may not get it. Trump does